Lorenzo's Letters

Divine Mercy Sunday 2020

By February 26, 2021No Comments

Happy Easter Season! The Lord Is Risen, Alleluia! While we are celebrating Easter Season in a most unusual way during this challenging time, I would like to share some news and thoughts with you. I have been giving Communion under the Portico (driveway of the Church), conducting it on the open air property of the campus where our Parish Church is located. I have been very careful not to touch the recipient, using gloves, a mask and even a face shield. Instead of giving Communion in the mouth, I have asked recipients to extend their hand out of the car. People walking or on their bicycles have been advised to come in their car to observe the social distancing rules. I do understand the global concern about this pandemic, and the growing fear connected with it. It can be a deadly virus, and certainly any person with pre-existing conditions or weak immune systems should take every precaution to be safe, but in this time of upheaval I have tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy as best I could. There are so many people who are affected by this crisis, and a lot of negativity. I do want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Therefore, after much prayer and contemplation, I have decided to suspend the distribution of Holy Communion in the driveway of St. Columbkille Parish. Lent has now been completed with the triduum Mystery of our faith having been celebrated without the normal gathering of a congregation. This has been very difficult for me. Now, Easter is here, and it will be celebrated for 50 days. I do hope we will be able to celebrate Pentecost “Feast of the Holy Spirit” congregated in our beautiful church as faithful Christians. I invite all of you to keep building your domestic church, celebrating with family and having a spiritual communion, hopefully for a short time, until we see each other again in public Masses. St. Columbkille Church will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 to 12 noon for personal prayers; remember to observe social distancing requirements of at least six (6) feet apart. Anyone who wishes to bring a canned good donation, please leave them in the Narthex. The Parish office will also be open the same days and times. As we continue to observe the stay at home order, let us prepare ourselves for the great things that are coming. Remember the great flood of Noah’s time was for 40 days (Gen. 7); the Hebrews spent 40 days in the desert (Ex. 16:35, Num. 32:13; Deu. 29:5); Jesus was tested after fasting for 40 days in the desert (Matt. 4:1-11); after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples for 40 days (John 21); 40 days are the indicated time for a woman’s postpartum confinement. This quarantine may or may not be 40 days, but the number 40 in the Bible represents a change, a time of preparation for a person or people who may have a big change coming, and something will happen after those 40 days. We already see during this time that the air, ocean, and rivers are getting cleaner, we are seeing less pollution, we are seeing less crimes. It seems to be a time of resting for the Earth. Every time we find the number 40 in the Bible there is a change, so if we are on quarantine for a period of time, our own “40 days”, we should rediscover the beauty of family life, the simplicity of entertainment, and the benefit of spirituality. Let us pray, sing and worship the Lord in our domestic church because great things are coming to you and your family. Finally, we are in the year 2020. 20 + 20 = 40, an indication that this change will not be only for you and your family, but for all the world community. What kind of change do you think God may have in store for you and your family? I sincerely believe that after this quarantine has ended many alterations will occur in our lifestyle. We must look with positivism, optimism and faith that those coming changes will be for the growth of the human race, for our restoration as a people of God and purification as Christians. I would like to again share these options for online masses, and you may have others. The Mass is celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane from the Catholic Center each day at 9:15 a.m. at: https://www.facebook.com/DioceseofVenice/. Please note, you do not need a Facebook account to view the Mass. Also, the Mass is accessible on the homepage of the Diocese website at www.dioceseofvenice.org. Bishop Robert Barron “Word on Fire” has added a link to his Daily Gospel Reflections so you can watch daily Mass online. It is celebrated at his chapel, and the video, which lasts less than 30 minutes, includes a brief homily. It is an alternate opportunity to hear daily Mass during this time of the coronavirus. http://dailycatholicgospel.com/ Mass from the Diocese of Venice can be seen on Fox4 on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Florida Catholic has suspended print production for the months of April and May. However, our ministry will continue as we are offering our e-edition free of charge throughout April: Click Here for the Florida Catholic Digital Edition Again, thank you so much for your regular support on prayers, financially and with food for less fortunate. And please do not respond to anyone asking for money on my behalf, it is not from me. In addition to the Parish office hours, both Fr. Fritz and I will be available to help our Parish community. You can reach me at 239-489-3973, ext. 210, or by email: lgonzalez@stcolumbkille.com. Fr. Fritz will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays by calling 239- 489-3973, ext. 207. Please do not hesitate to contact us if a need arises. On this Devine Mercy Sunday, I will be Saturday and Sunday available for confessions on your car (one person in the car) in the driveway of the church from 8:30am to 10:00am. God Bless and keep you during these trying times, and may the Devine Mercy bring new life and hope to each of you! Fr. Lorenzo www.stcolumbkille.com